AUTHOR: Rachel Hartman
PUBLISHER: Doubleday Childrens
I know i said i'm on hiatus but i had this review scheduled for today, so enjoy!
Note: An ARC of this novel was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This epic fantasy from debut author Rachel Hartman overcasts any other you may have read this year. On the surface two races at war – yet so much more underneath, Seraphina is a captivating play of characters and emotions that will be sure to leave you spellbound.
In a world where a person’s species may not match up with their appearance, fear and hate live hand in hand with those who live in the human kingdoms. An abomination human/dragon hybrid, Seraphina must hide who she is from everyone due to the perilous state of a treaty between the two species. When a royal murder stirs up long awaited angers and intrigues, somehow it comes down to Seraphina and a band of strange misfits to save the treaty; and the peace.
This is a true fantasy at its best; filled with sprawling fairy tale castles, lands vast and mysterious, ancient cultures built on magic and people whose lives are entangled with that of dragons. Hartman’s writing is clear and flawless, easy to follow through the book’s lengthy but easily manageable length. The narrative doesn’t appear rushed, yet moves along at the perfect pace to accommodate the reader and the events in the book.
One of the things I loved most about Seraphina was the diction used, a spectacular array of metaphors and imagery that effortlessly guided the reader’s imagination. Seraphina herself has a beautiful way of looking at things that is connected to her love of music, and everything she thought came across as poetic and delicately elegant. The prose was beautifully polished and infused with emotion, every word a delight to read in your quest to finish the book.
Hartman’s portrayal of a strong female character was greatly appreciated, unlike so many other heroines Seraphina was smart, and made decisions that kept in line with that. She is brave, honest, thoughtful and overall a brilliant young woman; one who was a pleasure to read about. In fact, most of the female characters in this book were shown with a great deal of strength and respect, Glisselda and the Queen being great examples who I thoroughly admired.
As a love interest, Kiggs was perfect. Defying the stereotype of the Ultimate Alpha Jerk, Kiggs was loyal, endearing, insightful, and his selflessness and slight eccentricity completely won me over along with Seraphina. Their romance was subtle yet genuine, a gentle build-up of emotions that touched your heart and left you smiling. A more traditional love story not uncommon to that out of lore, it was another pro for this book that just kept on giving.
Having already received glowing reviews from famous names and some slightly less well known, Seraphina full heartedly deserves every compliment it gets. A sweeping fantasy that everyone should read – even if they’re just looking for a good book, this is a series I will most definitely be looking forward to reading more of in the future.